By MELANIE EKSAL
Special to OsoyoosToday
Eight conservation projects throughout the South Okanagan will soon be receiving an added financial boost.
Bryn White, project manager of the South Okanagan-Similkameen Conservation Program, went before the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen Thursday for approval of nearly $293,000 in grants to help kick-start six local programs and continue two others.
“Our conservation program came together because of this unique environment. The Okanagan basin is unique, it’s sensitive, it’s known as one of Canada’s most endangered natural systems,” White said.
The annual application window for project proposals was open from Aug. 15 to Oct. 5 last year. Ten applications were received, but only eight were recommended for approval by the SOSCP’s Technical Advisory Committee.
New projects include a $10,000 invasive plant management program in the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s South Okanagan areas to cover invasive plant monitoring, documentation and reporting in high priority areas.
The Penticton Flyfishers Club was granted $159,000 for ongoing restoration work in Penticton Creek.
A project titled Love Your Lakes will get $40,000 to educate homeowners with shorelines about preserving the ecological state of their beach and waters, provide them with reports and create three demonstrations on public land.
The South Okanagan Bat Habitat Conservation Project was granted $17,137 in order to protect bat habitats, educate communities and develop partnerships.
The Okanagan Nation Alliance will get $5,000 to help develop a plan to improve the ecological stability of a portion of Trout Creek.
And the Fairview Heritage Townsite Enhancement Project will get $2,000 for its planning purposes.
The Habitat Stewardship and Enhancement in the South Okanagan project, which is now moving into its second year, received approval for $40,000. The project aims to educate and empower private landowners across 1,000 acres to partake in environmental conservation.
The last project in its continued stages of funding is the Conserving South Okanagan Habitats through an Invasive-free Certification program, put forth by the Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society, which works to increase community knowledge through workshops.
Melanie Eksal is a reporter with The Penticton Herald. OsoyoosToday and The Herald share an informal editorial use agreement.